Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Blast from the Past-- Cinque Terre, Italy

Good morning friends! Today's post is another installment of "today in my mind I'm in _______". Devin and I were sitting on the beach yesterday as we are wrapping up our trip and were talking about our next big trip... Italy. We have plans to go in 2021, but honestly, who knows if that will end up happening?? It started a little trip down memory lane and I remembered that years ago I posted several posts from our trip to Italy but never got around to posting our 3 days in Cinque Terre. 
Cinque Terre are 5 picturesque towns that all line the coast of Italy. They are connected by hiking trails, a train, and a ferry. We decided to stay in Riomaggiore and then either hike or take the ferry to the other towns.
The place we stayed at in Riomaggiore had the most beautiful view. It was a family's home that they converted one section into an apartment to rent out. Their sweet grandma lived next-door and she made us her own homemade limoncello. It was delicious and so cute that the grandma welcomed each guest with her homemade drink 😊 
This is the view from the patio where we had our coffee and breakfast every morning. These pictures are from their VRBO listing, not one we took ourselves. 

We loved being able to walk into the town of Riomaggiore, which was my personal favorite. I loved how small and quaint it was. You could tell all the locals knew each other by their interactions with one another and it was such a breath of fresh air after being in one big city after another. 
Every single day we grabbed some gelato and headed out onto the little rock jetty to eat our gelato and watch the fishermen bring in their daily catch. It was fascinating to see a lifestyle so different from ours. Nobody is bringing their fresh catch of the day into downtown Charlotte to sell it 😝
Out on the rock jetty.
On the other side of the rock jetty .
This is what the inside of the town looked like each morning as the town was "waking up". As the day went on the restauranteurs would pull out some tables and chairs onto the walkway for people to eat at.
Here we are grabbing a bite to eat with a view in Riomaggiore. 
Other times we would just get a cone of seafood on the go and then continue our hikes. 

We loved to hike in between the towns because of the stunning views from the hiking trails. 
We hiked to all five towns, but not in one day. The first day we hiked from Riomaggiore to Manarola and then Corniglia. Then we took the train back to Riomaggiore. The next morning we booked the ferry to Corniglia and picked up where we left off.
Corniglia from the trails. 
This is the town of Vernazza, the 4th town along the trails. 
More seafood and hiking 🙌
On our last day we took the ferry from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare
The view of Monterosso from the ferry 
Monterosso was by the far the biggest and busiest of the towns. It had a beach, lots of restaurants and shops, and was clearly more of a popular tourist destination. 
And the view coming back to Riomaggiore on the ferry was a beautiful "welcome home" 😍

When we go back to Italy (hopefully next year!) we plan to go back to Cinque Terre. Of the many places in Italy that we visited, this felt very "authentic Italy" to us with the small town feel and all the neighbors knowing each other. That being said, I also LOVED Rome and all the history, architecture, and delicious food. Honestly, I think in Italy it's pretty hard to go wrong. The people are friendly and welcoming, the wine is delicious (and cheap-- get the"vino de la casa"!), and I'm sure you can all imagine how heavenly the food is. I'm still dreaming about the fresh artichokes we had in Rome and it was 5 years ago!! 

What about you, have you been to Italy? What is your favorite spot to visit? If you could go "in my mind I'm in _______" where would you go?? Leave me a comment, I'd love to know!

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